Why should you try to imagine a Paradise when Nature has already taken care of creating one on Earth? You do not need to go crazy looking for a Shangri-La, since it is enough to head to the Caribbean Sea, more precisely to the Turks and Caicos Islands.
A Bit of Geography
The long beaches of fine, powder-like sand which reflect themselves in a crystalline sea and the luxuriant tropical vegetation populated by a varied fauna make Turks and Caicos a locus amoenus that is perfectly able to enchant its visitors. In addition, the coral reef provides a crown to the whole scenario. In fact, it completely surrounds this archipelago formed by the groups of the Caicos Islands (West Caicos, North Caicos, East Caicos, Middle Caicos, Providenciales and South Caicos) and Turk (Grand Turk, the administrative centre, and Salt Cay), together with hundreds of islets.
Islands of passage
Since the European discovery around the year 1512 by conquistador Juan Ponce de León, Turks and Caicos has become a melting pot of populations with different customs and traditions that have interpenetrated each other and rooted themselves over time. Already at the age of the great colonial empires, the islands were continuously passing under the control of Spain, France and finally of the United Kingdom, of which they have been a direct dependency since 1799.
Although the indigenous population has gone extinct, through the succession of dominations, Europeans, Africans and Indians have settled here, each bringing their own contribution to the local culture. One example above all? The cuisine, which has become a mix of various flavours, more or less distant.
What to Do on Turks and Caicos
Despite its small size, the Turks and Caicos archipelago offers various alternatives to entertain its guests. For sunbathing and relaxation lovers, the choice seems obvious, with the availability of endless beaches and coves, already frequented by the Buccaneers who hid there during the golden age of piracy.
Nature lovers have various options too, being able to decide to explore the islands by boat or by horse, or diving into the depths for an underwater adventure in which they could also run into the wreck of the Trouvadore, a Spanish slave ship that sunk here in the first half of the nineteenth century.
Finally, those interested in learning more about local history and customs can take advantage of the Turks and Caicos National Museum, based in Cockburn Town, the capital, and of a tour of Providenciales, a minor island that organizes guided visits.
Some More Info
When should you visit the Turks and Caicos Islands? Ideally, the climate of the archipelago is mild all the year, with average temperatures around 25° C. However, because of the possible hurricanes between June and October, the best period for a stay is between December and April.
It’s enough to bring light clothes, but to cope with the cool evening breeze it’s better to wear a sweatshirt. Among other things to pack, remember taking an electrical socket adapter. About the currency, you must have some US dollars in the wallet, despite the islands’ dependencies from London.
No special sanitary measures are required, while attention must be paid to water, to drink bottled and sealed, and to food, in particular meat and vegetables, to eat cooked.
Where to Stay in Turks and Caicos
In Turks and Caicos there is certainly no lack of charming hotels and resorts. However, considering the classic value for money, the Turks Head Inne Hotel is truly remarkable.
Located in Cockburn Town, on Grand Turk, this boutique hotel built around 1830 and close to the beach has all the most classic comforts, from the swimming pool to the restaurant, and extras like fishing, hiking and horse riding tours.
Cockburn Town, TKCA 1ZZ, Turks and Caicos, Turks & Caicos Islands
How to ReachTurks and Caicos
Reaching Turks and Caicos from Italy necessarily requires stopovers in London or Miami. Therefore, the most practical choice is a flight to the British capital from which to depart – thanks to British Airways – to Grand Turk’s airport.
Given these assumptions, you just have to take out your passport, prepare your luggage and fly to Turks and Caicos. It’s no coincidence, in fact, that the government of London is fighting to insert the archipelago among the UNESCO World Heritage sites.